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How to deal criticism from your teachers and coaches

My college is another place where I observe toxicity at its most, and one of my teachers once added additional venom to the mix, causing my mental health to crumble. At the time, I was distraught and helpless. But I managed to go through the ordeal and move on. So here’s how I handled it;

As students, we sometimes struggle to comprehend how to appropriately express our curiosity and feelings, which can lead to unfixable situations. The same thing happened to me at college, while we were having a relaxing session with one of our professors. Upon his query, a few of us highlighted some of the issues we encountered as students, which he expressed interest in and told us that management will look into. But the next day, he termed it harsh behavior and publicly chastised the four of us in front of the entire class, using extremely unprofessional and degrading language, prompting one of us to cry. He even insulted us in front of other faculties.

I recall my friend having panic attacks as a result of this occurrence. We couldn't figure out how to respond to this illegal behavior for days.

The experience had a profound impact on us because it was more than just a criticism; it was a traumatic reality that still makes me doubt myself; whenever I recall the occurrence, I feel a wave of self-doubt.

What we did was:

We spoke with two of our mentors who we trust and told the entire experience to them. We went over everything in great detail so they could see where we were going wrong and where the teacher might have misconstrued things.

Because it was harming our mental health on a personal and professional level, we also enlisted the help of our parents, as family plays an important role in emotional support. To feel a little happier and more secure at this point, one needs moral and emotional support.

We also avoided overthinking it, as this would only lead to a more disastrous stage. Rather than overthinking it, we reflected on how we learned a lesson about not oversharing or over showing one's feelings with everyone with whom one has a conversation.

We diverted our attention by doing things that we enjoy. I know it's difficult at this point, when you're absolutely crushed, I too faced the same, but you have to get up and move on at some point.

We can’t avoid people for a long time. And as we were in the same institution, we knew we'd have to face the teacher one day, so avoiding him wasn't an option. We could endeavor to maintain a cheerful demeanor, be courteous, and respectful. Most essential, one must apologize. Even if you have done nothing wrong, you must make an apology, as you are dealing with a circumstance where your teacher has most likely misinterpreted you. This can help in making the teacher believe that you have realized your error and are willing to help improve your relationship.

Discomfort or criticism are dealt with in different ways by different people. It's critical to consider whether or not it's worth thinking about, and if so, how you should respond. Rather than being passive and aggressive, I'd advise dealing with it with patience, as they are, after all, your teachers. They may be mistaken, but they always want to do what is best for you. If you still believe your teacher has chastised you for doing something wrong, you might try using the above-mentioned techniques.


By Muskan Verma

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